ROFFEKE Official Selections

THE ROFFEKE TV CHANNEL

Get Free Tickets for 2018 ROFFEKE Screenings

ROFFEKE is proud to partner with Additude Africa

ROFFEKE is proud to partner with Additude Africa
"Additude Africa promotes time credits as a means of encouraging the youth to be involved in community building activities in order to add a new dimension in their lives and make a positive contribution to their communities."

ROFFEKE is proud to partner with ipitch.tv

ROFFEKE is proud to partner with ipitch.tv
"Looking for a way to pitch your idea for a television show or movie? Ipitch.tv offers a next generation platform for creators of original ptiches for TV, film and digital media to connect directly with Hollywood producers and studio executives."

ROFFEKE Values

ROFFEKE Values
Friendship (networking), Fun (experimentation), Freedom (purpose, empowering, transparency)

Hotjar

SUBMIT YOUR FILM TO ROFFEKE!


ROFFEKE logo by Jozie of Kenyan band 'Murfy's Flaw'

ROFFEKE is a member of the Universal Film and Festival Organization

Featured Post

Comments on "The ABC of ROFFEKE" Screenings (September 2015 at iHub)

I liked all the films especially the one for Superman [“This is Joe”] and the last one which was longer [“ Frontman ”]. I look forward to at...

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Review: Sustainable Futures, Survivor Girls

ROFFEKE is honoured to welcome Rahma Rashid as a new intern. She graduated from Egerton University with a Bsc in Natural Resources Management. Rahma's personal statement can be read after her first ROFFEKE review below.

Director: Nicole Watson
Duration: 8 minutes 44 seconds
Location: Kolkata, India.
Reviewer: Rahma Rashid

Sustainable Futures, Survivor Girls is an inspiring story of hope and resilience, directed by Nicole Watson. It focuses on the issue of human trafficking and the contribution that people can make in societal matters.

India is a heavily populated country with not enough consideration on SDG 10 which focuses on equality. Economic status, caste, color etc... inequality in India - just like in many other countries - is a major issue. For a society existing within strong cultural morals, it is indeed a shame that man uses this as an opportunity to sexually exploit the girl child. The most painful bit is that this is done to a minor, using what would seem to be very 'righteous courses'. An 8 year old who has not even attained puberty! It angers me as much as it makes my heart weep.

In Nicole's short documentary, we also get to see how a centre like Sanlaap, commendably contributes to the rehabilitation of these girls and SDG 16. In a world where praise and support is granted to unworthy politicians, people do need to get their priorities straight and show support where it's due.

The film talks about the use of solar power as a form of renewable energy and its advantages, like it's facilitation in the accessibility of clean water, thereby contributing to both SDG 6 and 7. At a time when the world is mourning the loss of the Amazon Forest, it's a good assurance that people are paying attention to the environment. And hey, for anyone who didn't get the science behind the working of solar panels, this is your chance! A briefing of the same is made in the film! You are welcome.

All in all, it is amazing to learn that good still exists in this world. For women like Nicole, Sindhura, Indrani and Priyanka, we learn that aid comes from a single soul. It starts from the little input one gives. Let's not be ignorant of our surroundings. Just like the Survivor Girls, no situation is permanent, we all need a stretched out hand to give us hope where there is none.

***

RAHMA RASHID'S PERSONAL STATEMENT

Rahma is a result oriented female interested and ready to transfer her academic knowledge and professional experience into a challenging work setting while contributing to her own personal growth. She has a background in Natural Resource Management that makes her better understand the principle of sustainability to achieve the set sustainable development goals.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Dr. Robert David Duncan on improv acting, collaborating and giving back

ROFFEKE: This collaboration begun with your status update:

“I like to make myself available as an actor to one or two indie projects in the summers as a way to give back and say thanks for all the support I've enjoyed with my own projects. If you have a part you'd like to write me into or have me consider, do feel free to be in touch and we'll see what can work out. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5399017”

How important is it for actors to “give back” and what are the advantages of doing this?

ROBERT: In the indie no-budget film world, we are almost always begging favours and hoping people can help us, often for free. That's an unfortunate reality of the work, and even if we have a tiny bit of money, we can never pay people what they are worth. So the art of making indie films becomes a lot about trading favours, and that's where "paying it forward" is a good habit to get into. For my part as a producer-director, I can help by giving people a good experience on my films. I try to keep the days short, with an eye to efficiency and respectfulness. I'd like people to go home feeling good about the work so that they will help someone else some day. I can also help by making sure people get IMDb credits right away, and by doing my best to have the films get out into festivals and beyond so our work gets out there. I also like to offer people their "one-up" position as much as possible, which was a piece of advice I got from a director who was very helpful to me early-on. What this means is a supporting or character type actor can get a shot at a lead role, a background actor can try out having some lines for a change, a person who hasn't done sound but wants to learn can hoist a boom and get a bit of field experience with the recording gadgetry; basically it means that people can try out the next level up that they are aspiring to. For this reason, i see my productions as training vehicles for people, and we treat them as educational opportunities, creating a culture of sharing knowledge and taking chances on people so they can grow. So when I look back on all the goodwill people have extended to me, I like to give back by offering to help others when I can. For me, the most fun way to do that is by offering my time as an actor, since it is what I like to do most, and making my own films and being responsible for the work of others can actually take me away from acting for the pure joy of it!

ROFFEKE: The project required you to improvise. How does improvisation help actors to improve their skills/craft?

ROBERT: Improvisation turns accidents into gifts! A table that gets knocked down on stage unintentionally by an actor can turn into a hilarious moment or a great character reveal. It's all in how you handle things. By training in improv, an actor gains a great sense of being present in the moment with maximum flexibility and a willingness to say "yes" to all sorts of things that happen. It creates a great framework for fun story development with a spirit of playfulness. One of the improv games I like is one where an actor says something, and the other actor says "Yes, and..." and then adds another little bit to the story, passing it back or on to someone else who says "Yes, and..." There are various versions of that kind of game, but they all create a sense of positivity that keeps something growing and building, and each person comes to realize that they don't have to say something totally amazing, but rather they just have to be accepting of what is sent their way and build on it a little bit. I love improv and I encourage everyone to try to take a weekend workshop or something if they can or get a book from the library and try it with a few friends, or watch some YouTubes to see some good improv games. It's fun, and will help your acting immensely!

(Robert was gracious enough to avail "The Dance of Collaboration", an excerpt from "Improv to Improve your Business". Interested in checking it out? Send an email to mildandred@gmail.com).

ROFFEKE: In this project, you went the extra mile; researching how we say hi in Sheng, putting the Shenganiguns logo in the background. What are some of the ways that actors can go the extra mile?

This was a fun project! I think it is important for actors to understand some key things, such as where their part fits into the overall story, who their character is and the function of the character in helping get the story across. It's often said there are no small parts, but actually there are, and the size and importance of the role to the story should to some extent guide the actor's preparation. A role like the one I just did for the Shenganiguns was not intended to be a major role or one of the sustaining characters responsible for carrying a lot of the story line. I saw it more as being like a single piano chord: "bom!" and you're out of there as the story moves on. A bit of funny counterpoint to whatever is going on in the main story, perhaps to illustrate the growth of the band's fame and increasing global reach. So for a character like that, I feel it is essential just to hit that one chord and not hold back. So in preparing, what I like to focus on is who the character actually is, in the sense of what type of person. I knew from the production team that he was the president of the Canadian fan club. Given my age and look, I tried to picture this guy - the kind of person who in middle age is a total fanatic for a new band. Once I start picturing the character as a whole being inhabiting my physical self, I try to isolate one main quality or trait the person has. In this case, I decided it was enthusiasm. So that is my main play - enthusiasm. Then I spice it up with a secondary trait, and I settled on fearlessness as in the sense of being without fear of trying new things - the kind of guy who would learn a few words of Sheng and Swahili and just put them out there with a big smile on his face! From that point it gets easier once you have made these first few choices. I then searched out some key phrases in Sheng from the web and lucked into this site ( https://answersafrica.com/kenyan-slangs-meanings.html ) which explained to me what Sheng was and gave me some ideas of a few words I knew I wanted to work into the scene. From that point on, I was confident that this guy's enthusiasm and willingness to try new things would carry the scene. I think that's a good tip to remember - the simpler your make your character in terms of their primary and secondary behavioural traits or makeup, the more straightforward it is to play them and there's less risk of getting bogged-down in over-thinking. Just go in and play your main notes, and play them to win!

(Check out how Robert played to win as the president of the official Canadian fan club of The Shenganiguns! Watch here)

For a more complex role, like "Dunc" in the feature film "A Legacy of Whining" my preparation was more involved. The story takes place over a single evening between two former high school friends who haven't seen each other in 30 years. I was given the direction that Dunc's main function was to burst every hopeful balloon that the other main character, Mitch, floated out there. So basically I was to be the permanently mean-spirited downer and pessimist in the face of Mitch's persistent (if unrealistic) hopefulness. But this was a feature-length film and I was one of the lead actors, so how do you sustain that kind of negativity without some kind of internal justification? So the work there became one of creating a believable set of past circumstances, personal history and worldview that would allow me to play this one kind of attitude through the whole film. The secret there was in the back story I created for my character, as to why he was there in the first place and why he is so irritable. I gave him an occupation, a justification for being in town, a triggering incident, and some reasons to be irritable and negative. Having made those private choices for myself, it became a lot more straightforward to play the character in a more textured way without forcing it. I had the luxury of time with that film because we had plenty of time to rehearse and think about things. For many projects you have to move a lot faster, and there isn't enough lead time to do a lot of work, so I focus on that one primary character trait, the one secondary trait and as much backstory as I can quickly put together. It's important, I think, to make those choices quickly and then just start stepping into being the character right away and getting the lines down.

Robert as As the darkly sarcastic Dunc in "A Legacy of Whining"

ROFFEKE: You gave back in this project. Who are some of the people that gave back in your projects and in what ways did they do this?

ROBERT: Wow, so many people have given their time, talent, advice and other support to me over the years I could never thank them all sufficiently. This includes people who catch one of our films at a festival and say good things or people who watch on YouTube or other channels, festival programmers like you, Mildred, and others like my Patreon members, even people who were willing to walk around our little movie sets with a smile. If you check out the cast and crew for "It's About Love" and my other films, you'll see a lot of familiar faces! My successes are the product of a ton of goodwill, and I hope I can give back also through my books, festival, support, time, advice, teaching and other ways. I think it's cool if you look at my IMDb and trace the interrelationships among people and see the many times I have worked with other people, you can definitely get the sense of there being a real film family or families there. As an example, Ross Munro wrote the part of "Dunc" in "A Legacy of Whining" with me in mind, and I then wrote Ross a lead role as "Rick" in "It's About Love" because I enjoyed working with him and knew his work ethic. I met cinematographer Ron Heaps on "A Legacy of Whining" and we have all worked together several times since, and so it goes, spinning this cool web of connectivity, and each person also brings their own network of goodwill with them and it grows. Now I've worked with you, Mildred, and it would be cool to do that again some day!

Robert with co-star Teresa Laverty in the forthcoming movie sequel "Still About Love"

ROFFEKE: Advice for aspiring actors?

ROBERT: Make your own stuff! It's the single best piece of advice I can give to an actor. Turn your smartphone on yourself and speak for a minute on all the frustrations and joys of your day as an actor. Stage a simple scene with a friend that has a funny twist or a cool life lesson. Have fun! If you don't know how to edit video, ask someone who knows editing to help you edit that piece into a one-minute film with beginning and ending titles. Load it up on FilmFreeway or other similar sites and submit it to a festival, or better yet, five festivals. Maybe you'll get into a festival! Eventually, you can put it up on YouTube or Vimeo or similar sites and reach even more people who can see and appreciate your talents. From that point on, you are a creator, instead of being someone who waits to be chosen for a part by someone else. You are now a writer-director-producer who also acts, and that is a much more powerful place to be in your career. As you learn and grow your skills you will get better at all aspects of your craft and your projects will get more complex and interesting. Plus, filmmakers love working with actors who know how to make films, because they bring a lot of knowledge that improves their acting, things like understanding continuity between takes and other insights into the process of filmmaking.The years will pass anyway, and are gone for good, so do you want to spend that time auditioning endlessly for others or making your own stuff? If you keep making stuff and you will stay in the driver's seat of your own career. You can still audition all you want, but you are operating from a position of power, and it is your choice.

Robert on the set of "Spinoza Hotel". Learn more about this fascinating experimental short film here


Links:

IMDb page: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5399017
Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/robertdavidduncan
Udemy course "Acting Skills for a Better Life" https://www.udemy.com/acting-skills-for-a-better-life/
Udemy course: "How to Make a Feature Film with No Money and No Car" https://www.udemy.com/how-to-make-a-feature-film-with-no-money-and-no-car/
YouTube link to "It's About Love" full movie https://youtu.be/VSSO1VjdHA8
IMDb for "A Legacy of Whining" with trailer https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3766040

Monday, July 8, 2019

Review: Songs of Injustice

Reviewer: Mutendei Writes

Songs of Injustice is a film that can be summed up through an anecdote of my own creation; “a seed planted in soil produces a plant that blooms in accordance with the properties and characteristics of the soil it germinates in.”

Songs of Injustice is a film that captures the emergence of Rock music or Metal within South America, focusing on the organic adaption of a foreign musical genre, and its transformation into an independent art form with a unique purpose and significance to the people of Latin America.

Every art form and artist seeks to establish an independent identity and Metal in Latin America is no exception. However as Songs of Injustice narrates it’s about the journey and not the destination.


Metal in Latin America is undoubtedly a tool of resistance against decades of past and ongoing political oppression, marginalization and dictatorship, the very soil in which Metal, planted as a seed grew into something organic and independent of its point of origin.
This by itself is a success in its own right when evaluated on the basis of the opening credits quote from Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the 1982 Nobel Prize winner for literature.

“The interpretation of our reality through patterns not our own, serves only to make us ever more unknown ever less free, ever more solitary.”
Metal is not constrained by the original valueless form of rock, inapplicable to the environment of Latin America. A fact that the documentary film alludes to, highlighting the reality that music cannot be removed from the life it exists in.

The style and tempo of the documentary focuses more on the reasons and motivation behind the music and adopts a mostly historical focus when discussing the featured musicians throughout the featured Latin countries, Peru, Mexico, Argentina and Chile.

This focus, while positive is also a bit of a downside as it doesn’t showcase the artistic development of the groups, their background and personal bios and with them the organic music within Latin America, outside of the messages around which their music is constructed.
How they came together and how they began to associate are vital segments that the film misses and either excludes intentional or unintentionally.

Because of this the film beyond the halfway mark of its one hour and thirty minutes run time starts to feel very repetitive. In addition, Songs of Injustice as a documentary film would have been better segmented, by clearer demarcation between the switch of focus from country to country, perhaps by use of the different names of counties or their flags as a transition.

It’s clear that Metal is to Latin America what Reggae is to Jamaicans, however it also misses the opportunity to get the reaction of the fans to the music and provide a perspective on the inspirational aspect to everyday persons, who are not musicians; everyday persons living in the environment that the music and its messages stems from and seeks to create awareness and historical education.

Given that the term “Aguante” which characterizes the musicians’ motivation to create metal, stands for “strength, resistance, support”, and a “yes we can” attitude, songs of resistance fails to provide a voice to the fans who the music is made for and sung to.

Despite missing this segment, the documentary film Songs of Injustice is a body of work that cannot be overlooked when seeing to understand the purpose an value of Metal within Latin America and the heavy history it is tied to.

The film closes smartly with a call to attention encouraging people to be aware or by modern lingo, “woke” to the reality that there is a vital need to pay attention to and embrace Metal as a form of resistance and means to be in tune with the reality of the day.

(Written in March 2019).

Mutendei Bio

Mutendei Writes (Elias Nabutete) a Kenyan writer, with Kenyan & Canadian life experiences, writes & performs under the penname Mutendei Writes. As an artistic writer, using original, creative & structured writing, covering unique, genre inspired material, moving beyond the limiting modern day mainstream spectrum of content has been Mutendei Writes. Interweaving modern & cultural inclinations, with vivid storylines, Mutendei Writes artistically creates written & Spoken Word Poetry, along with short stories. With four unique books; The Poetry Express, The IdeaBankisms, Shadow Walkers & Everything Mutendei. Mutendei Writes has also maintained monthly website releases on mutendeiwrites.wordpress.com, adding to his works, while enabling others to pursue their literary goals.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Reviews: The Riveters by Kate Felix

On 13th and 14th May and 20th and 21st May, I was privileged to conduct a Basics of Screenwriting Masterclass at Talanta Institute. On the 13th, we covered Differences between screenwriting and other types of creative writing, types of protagonists, types of antagonists, the logline and S.M.A.R.T goals. We went through the students’ loglines and critiqued them.


On the 14th, we begun by watching #ROFFEKEOFFICIALSELECTION2018 “The Riveters”, which was written and directed by Kate Felix.

"Fed up with her 'lame duck' status, The Upstart decides to face The Patriarch in a 1940's feminist throw-down"



DIRECTOR STATEMENT

"We have created this film to explore the barriers, historic and contemporary, to women making films. It was written, produced, and edited by an all-woman crew. All women, only women, start to finish (with the exception of the two male actors!). With it' s short run time and powerful, unapologetic message, this film would be an ideal piece to introduce or conclude a shorts program.

This is the Director/Screenwriter's first film. She is a mother of 3 with another full time job who still somehow manages to get awesome ideas on to the screen. All of the women in this production collaborated both in and outside of their traditional professional roles to make this program a success. This film is a testament to what women can do when they give themselves permission to go out and kick ass."

We used "The Riveters" to recap what we had learned on Day 1. I later asked the students five questions related to the short film. Below are some of their answers:

1.What did you like about the short film?

It was short and precise, straight to the point.
- Edminah Kanana M.

It was Clear and precise ,the protagonist, antagonist and goal was clearly brought out.
- Fredrick Kimani.

It was brief and to the point.
- Moses a.ka. Pinto.

I liked the short film on how they managed to tell the story in less than two minutes.
- Denzon Mau.

There is the protagonist, antagonist and one is able to know the goal because it's clear.
- Carol Kanyora.


2.What didn't you like about the short film?

They did not show us what next, what she planned to do when her proposal was rejected.
- Edminah Kanana M.

The suspense it left me with.
- Moses a.k.a Pinto.

I didn't like how the film ended. If one is not keen enough he/she may not know the protagonist’s final decision.
- Denzon Mau.

I didn't get know if she became a filmmaker.
-Fredrick Kimani.

Nothing. To me it's perfect.
- Carol Kanyora.


3.What does this short film remind you of?

The film reminds me some of the challenges that some film makers go through because not everyone especially the parents appreciate film as a career.
- Denzon Mau.

The day I told my parents that I wanted to engage myself in acting, out of the love I had for it. I wanted to be the next Natalie Portman (world famous actress) but they wanted me to be an engineer. It was a hectic time to convince them.
- Carol Kanyora.

My friend whose parents chose an engineering course for her, and that was not her passion. She did the course and took the certificate to them. She started hustling to help herself study for art and design.
- Edminah Kanana M.

There must be a protagonist,antagonist and a goal.
- Fredrick Kimani.

The lecturer on Act 1
- Moses a.k.a Pinto.

4. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being very poor and 10 being excellent, how would you rate this film?

8/10...very good.
- Edminah.

On a scale of 1 to 10 I give it 5 because it was fair
- Denzon.

A 9
- Fredrick Kimani.

5
- Carol.

8
- Moses a.k.a Pinto

5. Any other thoughts you would like to add about the short film?

They should at least have shown us what they were going to do next now that the man had refused.
- Denzon Mau

Even though we can predict through her smile what will happen next,they should have shown us what happened maybe.
- Carol Kanyora

Act in 21st century style, to make it more attractive, capture attention.
- Edminah Kanana M.

It was interesting.
- Fredrick Kimani.

I enjoyed it.
- Moses a.k.a Pinto

'The Riveters' touches on SDG 5



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Review: Solo Una Vita

Reviewer: Mutendei Writes

Solo Una Vita is a captivating film from start to end, its small production mishaps notwithstanding the film’s overall quality.

With a smooth introduction of a captivating mystery into its opening, the film immediately establishes who its main characters are within the first opening scenes.

With the mystery established, the mystery morphs into an artistic dissection of what community is all about, and exemplifies that community is not necessarily about the size of a group but the connections between them.

Connections that grow between the three main characters, Gea, a struggling but ambitious songstress or singstress as the movie captions her; Elvira, the aptly wise grandmother and landlady of the story and lastly; Nicola, the movie’s mystery and most damaged genius.
As an odd community, the three characters heal themselves by assisting each other with their uniquely specific problems, with the aim of overcoming their challenges, fears and losses.

The result is a rock (soft rock) movie dedicated to the positivity of art, without the assumptively assumed negatives associated with Rock music like, drugs, transactional sex, violence or mania.

If the movie was to be redone in the constructs of the English language, its title may have well been “The Fault among our stars.” However that title is already taken. Not that there is any need to worry or consider an English remake as the Italian (with dashes of Sicilian) music movie clearly establishes its own unblemished and standalone identity.

Identity becomes the back bone of the film and the central theme discussed through the interactions of the cast. In respect to the identity of the film, as mentioned by some of the audience members that watched it at a ROFFEKE event on February 13th at the August 7th Memorial Park in Nairobi, it seems to have been copied by another big budget Hollywood release that also focuses around struggling musicians; an opinion which should encourage you to be the judge of this for yourself.

While it starts out as a music film, it grows beyond that to be a film that covers the discourse and dynamics of art as a whole; the film is so well developed that any other genre of art could be swapped in for music and still have the same effect.

This allows different artists to step into the shoes of the musicians portrayed on screen and embrace the similarities, if any, of human artistic challenges they face.

Using music as a medium, the film explores art in its entirety as an exposition of human nature and not an escape. It presents art as an instrument of healing and coping mechanism for the failures of society and challenges of human existence.

Art is a tool for the exploration of the human condition and art is a home that the artists can be proud of building and developing their souls and talent within.

The film explores many metaphors relevant to human life and focuses on facets that everyone should consider.

Everyone plays different notes and everyone sings and writes differently, a reality that the film uses to highlight the fact that your problems are not bigger than the next person's, and should be considered in the same weight one assigns to one’s own burdens.

Elvira the wise grandmother and landlady, embodies this as a practice, through her own art of Kitsugi, a Japanese practice developed with the belief that “we are better when we fix our broken parts with better things!”

Without Art, we lose ourselves and our humanity.

Solo Una Vita clearly establishing art as a worthy undertaking. The film also explores what we give up for our art and the price we pay. What is the price of pursuing one’s dreams and can the price ever be too high?

Art is about hope. Art begins in Chaos and ends in harmony.

While the film fantastically succeeds in its exploration of art and the human condition, it is not without shortcomings which were alluded to at the beginning of this review.

The film’s transition from credits to first scene is a quick cut in and counterproductive in respect to establishing the film’s mood.

The film does have several errors in its subtitles either due to translation or truncation errors.

In addition to this while the film runs its course, some of the camera angles result in blurred focus and poor character tracking.

With quality of photography being a key consideration in any film, the film also seems to go overboard in cut aways and scenic landscape fillers that do not necessarily further the film and story’s agenda.

The film would have also benefitted from including flashbacks of the loss suffered by Nicola, to give more weight to the character’s burden and better connect the audience to his condition.

These downsides however, are a far cry from outweighing the good of the film, and by its strengths the film is a great investment for one and a half hours of your time.

Mutendei Bio

Mutendei Writes (Elias Nabutete) a Kenyan writer, with Kenyan & Canadian life experiences, writes & performs under the penname Mutendei Writes. As an artistic writer, using original, creative & structured writing, covering unique, genre inspired material, moving beyond the limiting modern day mainstream spectrum of content has been Mutendei Writes. Interweaving modern & cultural inclinations, with vivid storylines, Mutendei Writes artistically creates written & Spoken Word Poetry, along with short stories. With four unique books; The Poetry Express, The IdeaBankisms, Shadow Walkers & Everything Mutendei. Mutendei Writes has also maintained monthly website releases on mutendeiwrites.wordpress.com, adding to his works, while enabling others to pursue their literary goals.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Interview: Javier Lozano Sánchez - "Better Whole" director, writer, producer

ROFFEKE: When you were 6 years old, you started drawing comics based on your favourite movies from the eighties. What were some of these eighties movies that inspired you?

JAVIER: My first comics were based on the movie King Kong (1933) I drew several sequels. King Kong never dies in my comics. By the time I was 13 I had already drawn comics based on Ghostbusters, Robocop, Aliens, Terminator, Batman, Darkman, Star Wars, Mad Max, and many more. My first stories were almost copies from those. I think they taught me how to tell a story. It's something I learned very young, so I really feel comfortable writing stories. After those amazing comics I started to develop my own ideas.

ROFFEKE: You made your first short film with a hi-8 camera when you were 13. What was the short film about? How long did it take you to make the film? What did you learn from the experience?

JAVIER: It was about a mouse from outer space. A boy (my little brother) finds it and then the mouse turns into a kind of gremlin. It was like a home invasión movie, but with a gremlin. The gremlin was a puppet of Ernie (Sesame street) we really customized for the occasion; it even danced in a scene!

We made the short in a week. I had to edit on camera, so I recorded and watched and then we repeated again and again. The short lasted almost 15 minutes.

I learned that it's more difficult to make films than to imagine them. It was an incredible experience, I had no idea about making a short film. There wasn't youtube to look for a tutorial!

ROFFEKE: What lessons did you learn from doing the Better Whole music video?

JAVIER: I learned a lot about visual effects, especially about 3D compositing. It was the first time I used a green screen with actors (musicians in this case). But everything turned out ok. Better Whole is a first step for more ambitious projects.

And I realized again, like in all the projects I'm involved (especially in short films), that it's very difficult to get that incredible image you have in mind. I think images and emotions are mixed in your mind, so they are almost impossible to reproduce. You need to deal with that and try the hardest to get something similar to what you imagine and feel.

ROFFEKE: If you had a budget of 1 million dollars, what would you do different for the Better Whole music video?

JAVIER: I think it would be better technically, and... well... honestly, if I had a million dollars I would not spend it on a music video or a short film... I would probably finance my humble film production company. .. Maybe I'll end up doing the same, but it will take me a lot more time without 1 million to start.

ROFFEKE: If you had a chance to go back in time to meet your 13 year old self just before you made your first short film, what advice would you give him?

JAVIER: Make the short film, make more, and do not doubt about what you really want. I'll tell him: As soon as you finish high school, go do what you really want and forget about everything fucking else.

And after that, I'll visit Doc Brown.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

"Alone" joins the ranks of films with rock-fueled end credits

The Matrix had it. Dogma had it. Fight Club had it. And now Alone has it.

The Matrix
“Wake Up” by Rage Against the Machine

Very fitting because: “By the end of the film, Neo literally wakes up from the technology induced slavery…”



Dogma
“Still” by Alanis Morissette

Very fitting because: “The story revolves around two fallen angels who plan to employ an alleged loophole in Catholic dogma to return to Heaven after being cast out by God;”

I am your joy and your regret
I am your fury and your elation
I am your yearning and your sweat
I am your faithless and your religion

I see you altering history
I see you abusing the land
I see you and your selective amnesia
And I love you still
And I love you still



Fight Club
“Where is my mind?” by The Pixies

Very fitting because: “No song has better captured the tone, mood and message of a film quite like this classic…”

With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself

Where is my mind
Where is my mind
Where is my mind





Alone
“Mental Power” by Simply Tomas

Like Fight Club, “Alone” deals with matters of the mind. “Mental Power” by Kenyan rock artist Simply Tomas is simply, a perfect fit.

I cannot understand
The need to live like this
I want to take control
Before I lose my mind

Bridge:
Siwezi kuu-kataa
Kuna shida kubwa
Siwezi ku-kataa
Shida ni lazima

Chorus: X 2
(But) I’ve got mental powers
Working with spiritual powers
Even in the crazy hours
To keep me from self-destruction



“ALONE” SYNOPSIS.
ALONE is a psychological drama set in modern day Kenya.

EUGENE NJOGU 28 (Mwaura Bilalal) a hardworking, timid desk police officer with mild bipolar and OCD wants to earn his father’s approval and admiration by getting a promotion to a police spokesperson but his father PAUL SENIOR 61 (Ian Mbugua), for reasons not immediately revealed, gives him an ultimatum to either quit his job or risk being cut off from the inheritance will.

With the assistance from his happy go lucky artistic leaning brother MARTIN (Brain Shikhuyu) he has to navigate a series of extreme challenges from his boss Chief Inspector Malonzi (Clara Alitsi) and his father; leading to a grand revelation of their shared love and bond.

This is a story that touches on the sensitive issue of mental health and the family, hope, redemption and self-discovery.

#AloneFilmKE

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Reviews: The Neighbor (#ROFFEKEOFFICIALSELECTION2018)

Writer - Zain Ashar
Director - Reinaldo Garcia
Producer - Ricky Cruz
"Luke" - Zain Ashar
"Joe" - Willem van der Vegtkey
"Landlord" - Lucia O'Brienkey

Review by Mutendei

Right off the bat "The Neighbor" shows that a neighbor sometimes is the exact opposite of the word's meaning. Neighbour highlights that we sometimes can get more than we bargained for in the selection of habitation and that people just as much as space and amenities impact the quality of our living space.

"The Neighbor" opens admirably with a good pan acting as a neat transition into the first scene. The cut-aways in between the dialogue of the first two characters we see, hints at unwelcomed company and the cringe worthiness that the lady landlord runs away from. Just because someone hooks you up, doesn't mean they are doing you a bigger favor than the one they are doing themselves.

Having been hinted at being cringe worthy, Luke, the unwanted attention giver, in this case doesn't disappoint in playing his role, opposite the new guy, Joe who as yet unfamiliar with the irritancy of his neighbor, accurately and believably portrays a human response to his indoctrination to the neighbor menace.

From a technical production standpoint, "The Neighbor" moves at a very good pace giving a balanced view to the developments as the film progresses, one scene not losing its relevance to others, either before or after. The film however does not resonate extra emotion in the well-acted and scripted scenes due to the lack of a soundtrack, which is completely absent and a downside to the film, whether intentional or as the result of an omission.

In summary the film aptly explores the boundaries of human interaction linked to habitation and related social dynamics. In exploring this, "The Neighbor" cinematically expounds two truisms of human nature, the first being that familiarity breeds contempt and the second being that "birds of a feather, flock together" indeed.

I believe the overall point of "The Neighbor" is a question, which it internally debates rather well, a question which we all face day to day in some way: do we own our own space?

Audio Review by Wanjiku Francis



Audio Review by Chacha Rich



Audio Review by Kimathi Geoffrey



Mutendei Bio

Mutendei Writes (Elias Nabutete) a Kenyan writer, with Kenyan & Canadian life experiences, writes & performs under the penname Mutendei Writes. As an artistic writer, using original, creative & structured writing, covering unique, genre inspired material, moving beyond the limiting modern day mainstream spectrum of content has been Mutendei Writes. Interweaving modern & cultural inclinations, with vivid storylines, Mutendei Writes artistically creates written & Spoken Word Poetry, along with short stories. With four unique books; The Poetry Express, The IdeaBankisms, Shadow Walkers & Everything Mutendei. Mutendei Writes has also maintained monthly website releases on mutendeiwrites.wordpress.com, adding to his works, while enabling others to pursue their literary goals.